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Senate okays defense bill over White House objections

Ukrainian servicemen clean a SPG-9 antitank grenade launcher at the frontline near Avdeevka, in the Donetsk region, on June 18, 2015The US Senate on Thursday passed a $612-billion defense policy bill, over White House objections, that allows lethal weapons for Ukraine, and virtually prevents President Barack Obama from closing the war-on-terror prison at Guantanamo. Democrats have objected to the way the National Defense Authorization Act avoids congressionally-mandated spending caps by pouring extra money into a war-fighting fund that is not subject to the caps. Top Senate Democrats wrote their Republican counterparts ahead of Thursday’s vote, urging the two parties to enter negotiations to end the across-the-board budget caps known as sequestration.

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